Kitzbühel – people have been talking about this resort in the Kitzbühel Alps for ages: its ability to attract celebrities from across the globe; its legendary Hahnenkamm race; the equally legendary run, the “Streif”; the countless parties along the runs… all of these come to mind first before one would even begin to think about the “KitzSki” ski area, and what a shame that is! Here, you can avoid expensive après ski drinks and overzealous party-goers while at the same time enjoying first-class pistes. All around the Kitzbühler Horn, Hahnenkamm and the Resterhöhe you can enjoy 170 km of pistes and 51 lifts.
Thanks to the “3S” circulating cable car, the ski area not only consists of Kitzbühel, but also Kirchberg, Reith and Aurach, Jochberg, Mittersill/Pass Thurn and Hollersbach. This provides you with numerous opportunities to not only enjoy the pistes, but also save a bit of money when staying in one of the other locations as opposed to Kitzbühel itself. The biggest advantage for those who prefer to access the pistes from the “other side” (Jochberg, Hollersbach or Pass Thurn): this part of the ski area is much less visited thaccessing the area from Kitzbühel or Kirchberg. However, the pistes here are not any less attractive. Quite the opposite, actually: this ski area proves to be quite diverse and has something for everyone, from children to freestyle pros.
The panorama lift in Hollersbach, the Resterhöhe chair lift in Pass Thurn and the new Wagstätt lift in Jochberg help make sure you start off your day of skiing comfortably. Despite the many tow lifts, the ski area is designed for both skiers and snowboarders alike. With enough momentum, you shouldn’t have any problems along the way. The tow lifts also provide optimal network along the pistes.
Throughout the ski area, you’ll find numerous delights. The 76 provides you with the opportunity to start off on a > 2,000 m high mountain and ride a blue piste all the way down to the valley station in Pass Thurn without stopping. The 65 starts off at the peak of the Bärenbadkogel and heads down from there, leading you along absolutely magnificent forest paths. The pistes at the Hangalm lift are also worth mentioning, and from here you can also make your way to the Mercedes-Benz snow park, a freestyle terrain that leaves no wishes unfulfilled. The upper half of the park is focused on rails and boxes and further down, several kickers make sure to provide you with enough airtime. Those looking for a challenge will be right at home on the < 2,000 m high mountain: it’s here where you’ll be able to take on demanding red and black pistes.
The valley runs are especially worth promoting on this side of the ski area. One of the most beautiful runs heads down to the Wagstätt lift in Jochberg. Winter sports fans will be rewarded at the end with a ride in one of the most modern gondolas in the ski area – heated seats included!
The connection lift “3S” to Kitzbühel has been around a bit longer, though: since 2005! It takes just about 10 minutes to make your way from the Wurzhöhe to the Pengelstein, where you’ll be able to access a further top ski area with numerous highlights on the pistes. However, these aren’t limited to just the well-known Streif, which should also be mentioned. Fans who prefer to hold back on the adrenaline rush can check out the Family Streif instead. This piste offers many manageable tow lifts along its upper half while providing you with a breathtaking view of the valley as well as Kitzbühel itself. At that pace, you can really take in the views! Round off your experience with a beverage in the “Streifalm” at the bottom of the Streif and watch the others make their way to you.
Easier to manage, but not any less interesting is the nearby resort of Kirchberg. Here, the “KitzSki extended” comes to an end with its 8.3 km of blue piste, starting around 1,000 m altitude at the Silberstuben lift mountain station and heading down to the valley stations of either the Maierl or Fleckalm lifts. Enjoy the unique panoramic views with the whole family and when heading back up with the Maierl lift, you take in even more of your surroundings as the entire cabin excluding the floor is made of glass.
Whoever has time for it can move on to two further mountain in Kitzbühel and Kirchberg – the Gaisberg and the Kitzbühler Horn. The Gaisberg is better known as “Sports Mountain” and draws in rather active winter sports fans with its red and black pistes. The Kitzbühler Horn, on the other hand, is rather known as a natural snow paradise and is home to the second snow park in the ski area, the Snowpark Horn.
If you’d rather stay on the go and simply don’t have time for a break, then it’s worth letting these two parts of the ski area to take up your time. A 35 km long ski safari all the way to the Resterhöhe is also recommended by the lifts. With a map of the ski area, you should be able to make your way through no problem!
For those of you who would like to spend more time enjoying the pistes – and the breaks in between – can take advantage of one of the many ski busses available as Kitzbühel, Jochberg, Pass Thurn and Mittersill are all interconnected. Taking extended breaks in the ski areas are well worth it, especially on the cosy Bärenbadalm or in the rustic Hahnenkamm parlour. On the < 2,000 m high mountain, you can soak up the sun and the gorgeous panoramic view all at the same time. Two last stops should be made before taking the valley run in Hollersbach: The “Pinzgablick” at the mountain station of the panoramic lift and the Mooralm with its umbrella bar at the middle mountain station. After relaxing, you can take on the last stretch of the run, where your thigh muscles will be called upon once again to finish off the day, so taking a seat to enjoy an ice cold beer or deliciously warm mulled wine before making your way back to your accommodation is definitely worth it.
If you don’t happen to live in Kitzbühel, you’ll be glad to be able to make use of the buses. Après ski on the Hollersbach side is not as widely offered, nor nearly as exciting as the celebrity atmosphere in the high society bars of Kitzbühel.
Kitzbühel and its surroundings – a true experience on and off the piste!